Tim Peake, the British astronaut who launched into space last December, is set to become the first from Great Britain to do a space walk. He will be attempting to perform a routine repair to the International Space Station (ISS) later this week. Interestingly, no British national has ever come even close to Peake’s feat.
During his childhood, Peake had dreamed of going to space like every other kid (for some reason, I did not have such a desire; my brother did and he may yet do it). Strangely, the British Government seemed to harbor an apathy towards space travel; so much that before Peake, other astronauts from Great Britain had to fly to space under the flags of other countries! Newton would hang his head in shame at this indifferent attitude by the British towards its astronauts.
Nevertheless, Peake chased his dream. He had a distinguished military career during which he accumulated several hours of flying time which must have stood him in good stead for this epoch-making journey. When the European Space Agency (ESA) invited applications for astronauts, Peake realized that a wonderful opportunity was shaping up and joined 8,000 other aspirants in submitting his credentials for the position.
A year-long screening process resulted, in which candidates were subjected to rigorous intelligence and aptitude tests. He was selected in 2009 much to his amazement. He then underwent six and a half years of practicing and perfecting his skills, including becoming a certified space-walker. Boy, that must have been so exciting for him!
So here he is, preparing to walk in space for the first time in his life. And he knows he will have to dig deep into his reservoirs of knowledge for space-walk is no easy task. The whole of Great Britain will be watching with bated breath as he undertakes the six and a half hour exercise. Six and a half years of training for a six and a half hour heavenly experience!
So people, go chase your dreams – it is never too far. It may take years to fructify and you may not be able to toast to many years of success, but even if it lasts only a single minute, it will feel like eternity. Never stop going after it, for you may not know how it feels like. And then you may live to regret it. Which will not look good when you leave the shores of the good old Earth for heaven’s pastures. Therefore, let Tim Peake be an inspiration for all to strive hard in pursuit of that dream!